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Hamlet Council hears from residents about Senior Center trips, honors the late Dr. Fred McQueen

Susan Sellars, former director of the Hamlet Senior Center, addresses the City Council. Photos by Chris McDonald

HAMLET — A generous crowd attended Tuesday night’s City Council meeting where one of the main discussion points was the acceptance and usage of complementary motorcoach trips by the director of the senior center.

The topic that was addressed at the outset was: can the director of the Hamet Senior Center receive such remuneration (where the bus and travel companies would award complementary usage to the group leader of an overnight trip) and it not be a public policy issue or conflict of interest?

After multiple residents spoke on the issue — including former HSC director Susan Sellars, retired nurses Imogene Thomas and Mildred Dickinson and the Rev. Michael Patrick — the board requested that City Manager Matthew Christian and City Attorney T.C. Morphis research the city’s policies and report back at the May 23 work session meeting.


Cindy Terry was sworn in as the new city clerk and zoning administrator by Mayor Bill Bayless and said that she is excited to be back working in Richmond County.

“I was born and raised in Richmond County and I currently live in Ellerbe, said Terry. “I worked for 22 years in the legal field in different counties and I’m glad to be back home.

“I was in Pinehurst for seven years and I felt very disconnected, so I’m glad to be back in the middle of everything again.”

Terry will be taking over the position of Gail Strickland who will be retiring on June 30 after 20 years of service with the city.

Cindy Taylor, center, is sworn in as the new clerk and zoning administrator for Hamlet by Mayor Bill Bayless, left, with her husband Alan holding the Bible.


Bayless brought forth two proclamations regarding the observing of Older Americans Month and a memorial proclamation on the death of Dr. Fred McQueen.

“I’ve known Dr. McQueen since he arrived in Richmond County from Fayetteville (Fort Bragg) in 1974, said Bayless. “I’ve always considered Dr. McQueen a friend and he did great things throughout the community.”


Hamlet Fire Chief Trey Goodwin requested the approval of an Automatic Aid Agreement between the City of Hamlet and the East Rockingham Hoffman fire departments. According to the ISO Mitigation website, Automatic Aid is defined as “assistance dispatched automatically by contractual agreement between two communities or fire districts to all first alarm structural fires.” The motion was unanimously approved.



Councilman Eddie Martin spoke on the festivities for the opening night of the American Legion Post 49 baseball season on June 5.

Martin has been at the forefront of the renovation and remodeling of the ballpark located on N.C. 177.

“We’re getting ready to start the third year of the comeback,” said Martin. “The City of Hamlet put in $10,000 towards the renovation of the park, fixing things up trying to get ready. This year the city put in (an additional) $20,000.”

Martin went on to say that Monday June 5 at 6:30 p.m. will be opening night with a number of family friendly festivities.

“All students (K-12 thru college) and all veterans will have free admission,” said Martin. “Admission for others will be $5.”

Several special dignitaries will be appearing as well.

“Coach George Whitfield will be signing copies of his book “Covering All the Bases,” said Martin. “State Representative Ben Moss will be throwing out the first pitch and all of the mayors throughout the county will be appearing as well.

“We are looking forward to a big crowd,” said Martin.

The council went into closed session in accordance with NC General Statute §143-318-11(a)(3) (6) and the meeting was then adjourned.

The next city council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 13 at the council chambers of City Hall.

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